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  • Betfair Advertisements with Annette Obrestad Banned by ASA

    Monday, September 28th, 2009 by t2admin

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an email advertisement sent out by Betfair Poker which features young poker pro Annette Obrestad. Online gambling advertisements in the United Kingdom are not supposed to feature anyone under the age of twenty five and Annette is the tender age of twenty one.

Betfair Poker sent out an advertisement via email to customers who registered and confirmed they were over the age of eighteen. The ad featured a picture of Annette and stated “online experience is measured in games, not years. Join the new breed.” The ad also mentioned Annette-15 which is Obrestad’s online name.

A complaint was received by the ASA so they checked into the ad. The complaint stated the ad was irresponsible because it could encourage young people to gamble. The ASA had this to say about the advertisement:
“While we accepted the ad had not been deliberately targeted at young people in its distribution, we also noted the code stated that marketing communications should not be likely to be of particular appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture.”

The ASA stated that Obrestad’s ‘handle’ online made it seem as though she is younger than she is and that could encourage young people to gamble, hence making the advertisement irresponsible. So the ASA ordered Betfair Poker to not distribute the ad in its current form and to keep anyone else under the age of twenty five from appearing in advertisements.

In their defense, Betfair Poker stated that they did not believe the new advertisement encouraged young people to gamble. The company stated they take all the measures necessary to prevent young people from gambling on their site and they use a dedicated team to verify the age and identity of their customers as well as other methods to keep youngsters from using their products.
Betfair Poker also stated that Obrestad was used in the ad for her skills as a poker champion and now her potential income from sponsorship deals would be restricted since she will be unable to appear in marketing material in the UK until she is over the age of twenty five.

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